Virtualization Technology News and Information
The problems virtualization doesn't cure

Quoting CBR Online

Virtualization is rapidly being adopted by large numbers of organizations as a means of squeezing more out of data center resources, and thereby maximizing the value delivery from existing investments. However, there is a danger of this type of solution being seen as 'all things to all men', and implemented widely without proper consideration of a number of challenges that can arise.

Although virtualization can enable processes to share resources more efficiently, the approach does not automatically best serve all optimization goals. For example, the foundation for using resources most efficiently is a clear and accurate record of the assets under management, and many IT departments are in the process of cleaning up their acts with the help of discovery technology that can detect infrastructure resources, and assist in the process of recording their characteristics, along with relevant ownership details.

Virtualization leads, in effect, to the creation of new assets (in the form of virtual machines, or storage), and if the process is ill-managed these can proliferate without limitations being applied by policy-based (or other) controls.

The fact that large numbers of organizations are still without asset discovery tools, or are operating versions that couldn't even recognize a virtual machine or resource, could see this problem get badly out of control within some data centers - and without the fallback solution of being able to send out a team to visually track down these resources in whatever corner of the data center they're lurking. This is what some IT managers have had to resort to with 'lost' legacy assets.

This leads directly to a second serious potential problem - that of maintaining licensing compliance. This has been a focus of many organizations' recent improvement efforts, but virtualization makes this more complex, and many automated licensing management tools are unable to cope with virtualized environments. Vendors' approaches to licensing in virtualized environments vary, and IT managers face considerable challenges in achieving the best deal against the background of more agile, virtualized infrastructure environments.

Additionally, deals negotiated around range-based volume usage may no longer be optimal in circumstances where virtualization changes the mix. For example, if the result of virtualization is numerous additional virtual machines running Windows, a separate Windows license may be required for each one, a factor that would certainly need to be taken into account in calculating savings from virtualization.

Finally, IT managers should be factoring a virtualization-related effort into some development projects, in order to ensure that applications can run in virtualized environments without adverse effects. This is particularly a concern for older legacy applications, in which use of memory resources within the code may bring them into conflict with a virtualization management system when requesting more memory.

While we welcome the advances in efficiency that virtualization will bring in many areas of IT systems management, we would caution IT managers to bear in mind these caveats.

Read the original, here.


Published Friday, August 18, 2006 9:41 AM by David Marshall
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